The American left has become quite virulent — if you have any doubts about this, read Ted Rall’s astonishing piece on how conventioneers may be treated in New York.

“The Republican delegates here to coronate George W. Bush are unwelcome members of a hostile invading army. Like the hapless saps whose blood they sent to be spilled into Middle Eastern sands, they will be given intentionally incorrect directions to nonexistent places. Objects will be thrown in their direction. Children will call them obscene names. They will not be greeted as liberators.”

People have the right to protest, and this goes for folks who want to show their disapproval of Bush’s policies in New York. But this is just plain nasty.

Rall, of course, is a cartoonist best known for his racism with regard to National Security adviser Condi Rice, about which The Other Charlotte has written in this space (here and here).

But I think Rall typifies a sort of ugliness that has overcome the left. Let’s be perfectly clear: People have every right to protest around conventions.

I am merely calling attention to the unprecedented vitriol one finds of late in American politics. Here’s some more from Rall:

“Well aware that it is barren soil for their party’s anti-urban, anti-immigrant, anti-feminist, overtly racist ideology, Republican leaders have wisely avoided New York City as a convention site for the past 150 years. Even as the rest of America turns red, we New Yorkers remain as liberal as the people’s republic of San Francisco: fewer than 18 percent of the citizens of New York’s five boroughs (which include relatively conservative places like Staten Island) cast ballots for Bush/Cheney in 2000. But White House strategist Karl Rove sees the continued exploitation of 9/11 for partisan political gain as Bush’s key to victory in November.”

It’s not news that New Yorkers are not sympathetic to those who will soon gather there, but what’s sad is that people like Rall are so hostile to the values of people who don’t live in New York or San Francisco. It’s the hatred, Stupid.